A trip to the Amoy Street bar is in order

The Singapore finals of Diageo’s esteemed World Class 2017 mixology competition just concluded last Monday night (Jun 19) at Zouk's new concept bar, Capital, and the results are in.

Kim Shin of Jigger & Pony emerged the winner and received the baton from last year’s winner and former colleague Jing (now at Tess) to rep Singapore at the World Class Asia Pacific Boot Camp in Bangkok next month, and at the Global Finals in Mexico City this August. He outdid seven other finalists—Adam Bursik from The Library, Kim Juseng from Ritz Carlton, Kino Soh from Highball, Jayden Ong from Sugarhall (this year’s runner-up, who’ll join Kim Shin in Bangkok), Jerrold Khoo from Flagship, Jimmy Lian from Redtail and Julian Serna from The Lo & Behold Group—all of whom fought tooth and nail over three prior rounds to get this far.

Jayden Ong, Sugarhall

The super stringent and highly competitive finals saw two segments that the eight of them had to complete. The first, a themed round called “Shape of Cocktails to Come”, the bartenders had to muster all their creative juices to concoct three unique cocktails that reflect how past and present influences—from 19th century bartending techniques to modern art, cultural and musical inspirations—will shape what cocktails will be like in future. While Kim Shin wowed the four judges with his experimental gin-based, hop-infused cocktail (Beesy), coffee and gin concoction (Awake) and a tall glass of milk, apple cider, vodka, butterscotch syrup and a dash of Togarashi salt (Flawless), it was newcomer Jayden Ong who won the judges over in this challenge. Both of them made it to the next round, along with Adam Bursik and Jerrold Khoo.

In the “Against the Clock” challenge, the four of them were tasked to create a minimum of four different cocktails of the judges’ choice in 10 minutes (inclusive of five minute prep time). This hectic speed round tested their accuracy and craftsmanship in making the cocktails (like the Ramos Gin Fizz, which usually demands a lot from a bartender to make). While everyone did exceptionally well, sans minor spillage, confusion on where the bins were and just the jitters in general, Kim Shin emerged victorious. 

Take a look at Kim Shin's creations from the first challenge.